GI Jews: Jewish Americans in World War II (2018)


“We were there for a reason: To reclaim who we were and not to forget who we were and where we came from.  That’s why we went.” – Leonard Everett Fisher

Number of Times Seen – 1 (6 Sep 2018)

Brief Synopsis – Documentary that chronicles the experiences of the many Jewish soldiers who served their country during World War II.

My Take on it – This is a film that I heard about a few months ago and have been quite interested in seeing since both World War II and the Jewish experiences are of paramount interest to me.

This documentary does a great job of telling some of the stories of just a small handful of the men and woman who did all they can to serve their country despite being part of a minority religion.

Many of them experiences much bigotry from their fellow soldiers largely due to ignorance and misconceptions along the way.

This film shows how they needed to cope with the antisemitism of their brothers-in-arm and the fear of what the Germans would do to them if they were ever captured along the way.

They give us some great interviews with both famous people and “ordinary” ones which gives the film a much more well-rounded look at the various experiences of these courageous men and women.

Some of these interviews are quite emotional and the stories they tell are ones that give an even more emotional punch to the experience of these people and their brethren who mostly weren’t even aware of the various atrocities that Hitler and his minion committed during the course of the war to their own relatives still living in Europe at the time.

Bottom Line – Great documentary that gives us a diverse look at the way that Jewish American soldiers served during World War II. Many of them experienced vicious bigotry while serving and this film shows how they coped with their newfound experiences in order to fulfill their duty for their country no matter the cost.  Some of these interviews are quite emotional due to the moving stories that they tell. Love how they mix interviews with famous people and “ordinary” people in order to give the film a more well rounded look at these courageous men and women’s experiences. Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Jewish men fought in every branch of service and in every theater of war. They were held as POWs and awarded honors for merit and valor. Thousands were wounded and 11,000 were killed in action. Ten thousand Jewish women joined up as well, disregarding their parents’ warnings that the military “was no life for a nice Jewish girl.” In the midst of it all, they fought a second, more private battle, against anti-Semitism within the ranks. They endured slurs and even violence from their fellow servicemen, and often felt forced to prove their courage and patriotism. All the while, they observed their religion, far from home. Jewish men and women sought solace in their faith and celebrated holidays overseas, even on the frontlines. Some went without rations for days to keep kosher, and many carried a small prayer book with them on every mission. (From PBS)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (9/10)

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3 thoughts on “GI Jews: Jewish Americans in World War II (2018)

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